The death of Nelson Mandela last night after a long illness is a sad moment for his family obviously and for South Africans for whom he was the father of the nation, but also for people all over the world for whom he was an example of all that is best in humanity.
He will surely remembered as one of the greatest figures of the 20th Century. He led the campaign against a monstrous evil, a regime that judged people's worth by the colour of the skin.
For that alone he would deserve his place in history. But what really set him apart was how he behaved in victory. How many of us would be able to show such forgiveness to those who had wronged us?
At a time when politics is held in such low regard, he is an example of the transformative power of inspirational political leadership. But more than that, he is an example to all of us as human beings of the need to set aside hate. For me, of all the moving and inspiring things he said, this is the most powerful:
"I knew that if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison".
Rest in peace Madiba.